The three candidates for Dartmouth's next town administrator

Apr 26, 2018

Dartmouth's search for a town administrator has been narrowed down to three candidates: A department head for the Town of Yarmouth, the owner of a Cape Cod recruiting firm, and a town manager from Maine.

The Select Board will interview two of the finalists at Town Hall on April 30, starting at 5 p.m. The last finalist will be interviewed before the regular Select Board meeting on May 7. Dartmouth Community Television will air the interviews live.

The three finalists are Robert Peabody, Warren Rutherford, and Shawn MacInnes.

MacInnes has been Yarmouth’s municipal operations director for the past 21 years. His role covers everything from information technology to capital planning and community service projects. An engineer by trade, he owns and operates MacInnes Consulting.

MacInnes said Dartmouth’s similarities to Yarmouth drew him to the position, listing off natural resource protection, a focus on renewable energy, and similar budgets as similar areas.

Rutherford owns Rutherford Advisors, an executive recruiting and coaching firm located on Cape Cod, which he has run since 1997. Additionally, he served as town manager for Barnstable from 1990 to 1997, as town executive for Canton from 1984-1990, and worked for the MacKinnon Training Center between 1978 and 1984.

Peabody is the current town manager in Bridgton, Maine, located near Mount Washington. In the 1980s and 1990s, he served on the city council in Rockland, Maine, and ran several small businesses after that.

Peabody said he was drawn to apply to the position due to Dartmouth’s oceanside and rural charm, the presence of a large university, its rich town history, and the town's current sustainability projects and age-friendly initiatives.

Former town administrator David Cressman retired in February after nine years at the helm. He cited his desire to move closer to family on the North Shore.

A total of 49 candidates submitted applications for the position. Consulting firm MRI whittled the candidate pool down to nine people. A town-appointed screening committee decided on the three finalists.

The town's Director of Finance, Greg Barnes, and Director of Development Deborah Melino-Wender are serving as co-town administrators until a replacement is hired.